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Millenial Life: Blood Doesn't Guarantee Family

Family lore from my dad's side goes like this: Decades ago, an aunt I've never met drove to my grandfather's house, walked up to the house with her toddler in her arms and rang the bell. When her father came to the door, she told him, "This is my son -- and you'll never get to know him." She turned around and left.

When I heard the story for ...Read more

Conflicting COVID Weddings

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: After months of careful planning, my daughter had to postpone her wedding reception last March because of the pandemic. She and her fiance made the difficult decision to go ahead with the wedding itself -- with only four people attending -- and reschedule the reception for later this year. They set the date for 20 months after the ...Read more

Ask Amy: Facebook posts create relationship problems

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Readers: Every year during this time I step away from my column to work on other creative projects. I hope you enjoy these (edited) “Best Of” Q&As from 10 years ago.

Today’s topic is: Unsocial media.

I also invite readers to subscribe to my weekly “Asking Amy” newsletter, at Amydickinson.substack.com, where I post a favorite Q&A...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Clean House in Pennsylvania

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: I have been married for 25 years to "Betty," a beautiful, intelligent, caring woman from Greece. Our marriage has been good. We are financially solid, and we share values and interests.

I am 63 and retired. Betty still works, and she makes a good salary. I'm in reasonably good health, although the doctors say I have to watch my ...Read more

Fasting Prayer for Lent

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: Recently, I came across this poem. I've seen it attributed to Pope Francis -- not sure whether he actually said it. In any case, I thought you might share it with your readers. You don't have to be Catholic to get something out of them.

"Do you want to fast this Lent?

"Fast from hurting words and say kind words.

"Fast from ...Read more

Ask Amy: Elaborate birthday bash disappoints host

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Readers: Every year during this time I step away from my column to work on other creative projects. I hope you enjoy these (edited) “Best Of” Q&As from 10 years ago.

Today’s topic is: Birthday bashes.

I also invite readers to subscribe to my weekly “Asking Amy” newsletter, at Amydickinson.substack.com, where I post a favorite Q&...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Befuddled Grandma

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: I have two young granddaughters who live on opposite sides of the country. They are both in elementary school. "Harper" has tree nut allergies. Tree nuts are hidden in many things, including anything with sesame. In many cases, nut-free items are processed in the same plants where tree nuts are processed, making them unsafe even ...Read more

Yuletide Usurper

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: My sisters and I always took turns having the family Christmas at our respective houses. Six years ago, it was my turn to be the hostess. I was in the kitchen all morning cooking. As everyone arrived and was going through the buffet line, I noticed no one was taking much food. Some were not even getting a plate. I asked why my ...Read more

Ask Amy: Teen forces gay friend out of the closet

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Readers: Every year during this time I step away from my column to work on other creative projects. I hope you enjoy these (edited) “Best Of” Q&As from 10 years ago.

Today’s topic is: Coming out.

I also invite readers to subscribe to my weekly “Asking Amy” newsletter, at Amydickinson.substack.com, where I post a favorite Q&A, as...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Stressed Daughter

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: Eight years ago, I moved in with my parents to help care for them. My dad passed away shortly after. My mother has some minor health issues but can get around. Annie, as the years have passed, it has become a miserable existence. There are no visitors to our house. I'm sure the reason is Mom's chronic complaints. According to her, ...Read more

Not Really Invited

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: This has bothered me for a while, and I just can't get over it. My brother got divorced when his children were very small. His ex, "Susie," always said that we, "the family," were the cause of their divorce, even though Susie cheated on him. I have dealt with it over the years and decided it is not my problem or my fault, and I'm ...Read more

Ask Amy: Girlfriend doesn’t want to hang with the nudes

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Readers: Every year during this time I step away from my column to work on other creative projects. I hope you enjoy these (edited) “Best Of” Q&As from 10 years ago.

Today’s topic is: The male gaze.

I also invite readers to subscribe to my weekly “Asking Amy” newsletter, at Amydickinson.substack.com, where I post a favorite Q&A,...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Mom of an Active Son

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: My son is 36 years old and was raised in a Christian home. However, twice in the last two months, he has posted pictures on Facebook of women being hit by men. The first was a cartoon, and he posted it on his teenage daughter's page. I sent him a message asking if he thought it was a good idea to tell his daughter that it is OK to be...Read more

Single File: Bitterness

Life Advice / Single File /

DEAR SUSAN: My romance just ended with a bang. He had said he was 40. He's really 63. He swore he was unattached. I discovered he's actually married -- with three children. It was all fairy tale stuff that his wife knew nothing about. I swore if he were to ever contact me again, I'd tell her, so that should keep him away. But still, I keep ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS/TNS

Erika Ettin: Your work isn't your whole life — and it shouldn't be your whole dating profile

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

While browsing through Match.com recently, I came across a profile for a man with an attractive main photo. Thinking this could possibly be a good match for a client, I clicked through the other pictures. While I thought he was normal (always important) and handsome, his photos were all standard headshots that didn’t tell me much about his ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS/TNS

Barton Goldsmith: Depression hacks to lighten your life

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Before the pandemic, more than 40 million people suffered with depression, and now you can likely double that number, maybe triple it. Fortunately, this problem is mostly situational, directly related to this plague-induced half-life in which we have been living for over a year now.

Here are five simple (for the most part) little things you can...Read more

Feeling Powerless to Wife's Addiction

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: My wife has a lover. When we married, I was promised that she was done with her lover. But she isn't.

She sees this lover every day, and there is nothing I can do about it. After she's been with her lover, she is not interested in being around me. She can't, or won't, carry on a conversation and, when I try, she simply asks the ...Read more

Ask Amy: Classmate’s bullying is unacceptable

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Readers: Every year during this time I step away from my column to work on other creative projects. I hope you enjoy these (edited) “Best Of” Q&As from 10 years ago.

Today’s topic is: Adolescence.

I also invite readers to subscribe to my weekly “Asking Amy” newsletter, at Amydickinson.substack.com, where I post a favorite Q&A, ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Grateful to Be Alive

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: My sister lives with my father. She is supposed to be helping him, but she has a problem with depression and self-medicates with marijuana and alcohol.

Do you have any recommendations as to how to handle her? She is so difficult to work with, and will not admit that she needs help. -- Concerned Siblings

Dear Siblings: We're not ...Read more

Science Advice Goddess: Morose-Colored Glasses

I'm a woman in my 20s. Some stuff in my life was going really wrong, and I got depressed. I didn't tell people, but it had to be obvious. I distanced myself from my group of girlfriends, meaning I missed birthday parties, didn't respond to group texts, and was overall not a great friend. Still, I did what I could, like taking a friend for a ...Read more